Follow
Share

Hospice is placing my 78 year old dear mom on morphine and anti-anxiety meds as needed. She refuses food and drink some meals (usually when I am not there to feed her), but eats and drinks with me, with difficulty swallowing even her pureed foods.

Can some of you tell me what I can expect regarding time mom has left here on earth, based upon your experience? I know it is hard to tell - but hearing similar stories will help me process what Mom's going through.


I had to almost throw a fit to get this care for Mom... she'd been coughing and rattling for weeks. They tried the patch and atropine and both didn't work. Nebulizer and oxygen as well - but no real difference in mom's breathing difficulty. I had to insist more comfort care for her - through tears - and so now the next level of care is being instituted - morphine and anti-anxiety meds.

Just thinking about Mom's plight brings me to tears... but I am joyful because she's going to heaven and I will see her again.

This is rather emotional for me...

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
I am a newbie here, but I have been where you are and I have much compassion for you. I believe actively dying is when a person takes no food or drink and is barely conscious or not conscious at all and can't communicate. Since you recognize that Hospice Care comes in as life goes out, the best that you can do is keep her comfortable. If she is unconscious, you can and should still speak to her. She may hear you. I used to wet my Dad's lips with a sponge on a stick and he responded positively to that. Pray at her bedside and speak from your heart. Persevere in the faith, and God bless you.
Helpful Answer (9)
Report

Yes sweetie, this is what they give someone who has very little time to live, so sorry, will keep you both in my prayers, take comfort that soon she will be an angel and be with our Lord, God Bless
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

My mother died this past May 2013 in a compassionate caring nursing facility of which she had been living for five years. Hospice brought in measures of morphine, and as a pastor myself, I watched her facial expressions and movements of her body. I was looking for any signs of discomfort. I never saw them, and I believe it had much to do with the morphine. Keep telling yourself where your loved one is going, and I also mentioned to my mother as many people as I could think of that she loved that have gone before her. I told her how much I loved her, and I gave her compliments when they surfaced. The hearing is the last to go, and I was very careful to keep her room as peaceful as possible. I did my best to not have the phone in use. I played on a CD soft instrumental music that happened to be familiar hymns sung in church. The facility where she was happened to have the CD and the player. I asked the nurses if they would mind making sure that the music played continously even when I wasn't there. The staff kept asking what they could do to help, and that is why I ended up asking if they would make sure the CD played. It played over and over, and one of the nurses when she left the room said, it is so peaceful in here. That is what I wanted. I continued to pray for the nursing facility, the nurses, my family and my Mom. Also, please note that some people do not want their loved ones in the room when they die. I don't know why that is, but if she passes away and you are not present, please do not feel guilty. The dying process is a very sacred and holy time especially for the Christian. I believe that our loved ones are going between this earth and heaven as they are dying, and what I will always remember is how my mother looked after she died. Her face was at peace. I pray that all deaths would be like this.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Yes this is what they refer to as pallative care, they will do everything possible to keep her comfortable as she enters a new journey. The rattling is one of the first signs that the end is near. She will soon be at peace and heaven will have a new angel. But she will still walk beside you through out your life, just watch for signs you'll know. You're in my prayers.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

all of us going through or having gone through these things. We have a lot to share and can support each other. But for the AZ patients it feel like the end will never come! It seems to go on forever. I just wish there was a way for it to end before the patient has to succumb back to being a baby again. It is humiliating for me to watch this process and even though he doesn't know it now he would not like being a baby again either. I have promised I will never leave him until it is time.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

I am so thankful for everyone's kind, helpful, and thoughtful responses...we are all in this process together, aren't we, and such is why we meet together and share our stories, seeking comfort, consolation and help... Bless each of you and your loved ones.

Mom is still eating her pureed foods and drinking when she wants to... but the other night she vomited for the first time... I've been with her each time she's been on morphine after asking Mom if she is in pain and she indicates so (usually an hour or more after she's given her usual tylenol and it is not working). I am beginning to see that if I don't advocate for her, the NH home medtechs, as sweet as they can be, are not really probing her for her level of pain...

Mom is so endearing in this stage of her life. I am so blessed to be a part of this process. My only concern is for her comfort and that Mom knows she is deeply loved. I hold her hands, pray over her, often prepare her for bedtime when I am there (taking out dentures, washing face, putting facial cream on, massing her hands, and changing her clothes) because I choose to... and she appreciates this. The caregivers are wonderful towards her... but I find I enjoy caring for her when she is so needy and dependent.

I do grieve that my siblings and her grandchildren are not more attentive towards her. Some hold grudges. Mom made some mistakes... she didn't know the LORD most her life (only coming to faith less than a year ago) and she could be rather self-absorbed and cutting... But she is so different now... and I wish they could see this.. and make peace with her... sometimes I wonder if this is why she is holding on...

Nonetheless, I celebrate my time with her and rejoice for each of my precious experiences with her. I love my Mom. I always will.

I'll continue to share updates with you. Thank you for reading, asking and praying for me and for all of us here. We all need strength and courage for this passage of our life and those of our loves ones. Hugs to each of you.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

I know it is hard to watch someone you love declining... I personally do not feel it is wrong to pray for their death to come peacefully and soon! take care may you find strength and comfort in keeping your promise!
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

ive read many times that labored breathing can be assisted with a small fan pushing air into the patients face. this does amount to slightly pressurized air and is said to be at times a better solution than oxygen.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

My mom passed away yesterday at around 3 p.m. She was in pain by around 6 a.m. & when I called Hospice and described her symptoms (and her decision to stop taking all of her CHF/PH meds), they suggested giving her the max dose of morphine hourly. Which is what I did. I know that my mom was not in pain at her death and she died holding the hand of me and her best friend, in her house, surrounded by her things, her husband, her cats & her memories. It was just the way she wanted it.

Hospice was incredible & I was lucky enough to have my Case Manager arrive literally moments before she passed. She did EVERYTHING (called the funeral home, called Mom's doctors, informed the hospital, etc.). Plus, she was the most kind and amazing person and was right there with strong hugs and soothing words. I could not have held up at all without Hospice.

And, I was very grateful to the morphine for easing my mom's transition.

R.I.P. Mom (1938-2013)
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

When there is terrible pain, it needs relieved.
And sometimes, getting that pain relieved, means the person can relax and let go.
I feel so sad that you experienced this; it is so hard to sit watching someone die, wanting to be with them for each possible moment, to help and comfort them....then not be there when they do go.
Morphine can be seen as 'expediting death' in some circumstances.
But it is primarily used, and authorized to be used for, stopping pain...though, for many, it fails to stop pain...instead, stupefying them into inability to speak to say they are still 'in there', and hurting. When doses of morphine seem to be failing to control pain, there need to be other remedies to help that, be it other drugs, or sometimes alternative measures.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter